Best Diving Destinations for Beginners


KosWhether you’re an amateur or experienced diver, nothing beats the feeling of diving in the waters of another country for the first time. Divers know that exploring vivid pink and red coral reefs juxtaposed by turquoise waters, green sea grass and iridescent fish passing by make for an unforgettable visual and sensory experience.

It’s an addictive feeling that rivals no other. That’s why diving continues to be one of the hottest activities for travellers to enjoy while on vacation in coastal destinations.

Diving is also an eco-friendly pastime that helps educate and inform the public on the importance of marine conservation. It tends to give participants a deep appreciation and respect for the subterranean world of miracles that landlubbers just don’t get to see. And that's good news for the long term health of these delicate ecosytems.

Find your ideal dive spot!

From the Bahamas and Bonaire to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, anyone interested in plunging into the big blue while on holiday in one of the worlds numerous diving destinations will have no trouble signing up. Travellers should take their open water certification diving card along with them on their travels. A globally recognized certification, such as PADI, NAUI or SSI, is needed. For those who are not yet certified, beginners dive courses are available in most dive destinations but can be quite costly and time consuming.

Let’s dive into our top 10 best dive destinations for beginners:

  1. The Red Sea’s year-round warm waters, excellent visibility and abundance in marine life make this one of the most popular destinations for beginners and inexperienced divers. Head to Sharm el-Sheik, Dahab or El Gouna for an unforgettable diving experience.

  2. The waters off the coast of Thailand offer divers a wide variety of diving spots and great value and are one of the few places in the world where you can dive with the elusive Whaleshark. Best spots include Phi Phi, Pattaya and Koh Tao.

  3. The world-renowned Cayman Islands are a must for all diving enthusiasts. The calm, crystalline waters provide a breathtaking environment to explore the mysterious underwater world, and Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are the best spots to begin.

  4. A wide variety of some of the world’s most exotic creatures can be spotted in the waters off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, such as swimming iguanas and equator-dwelling penguins.

  5. The Great Barrier Reef is, without a doubt, one of the world’s best diving destinations and is great for divers of all experience levels. Marvel at the magnificent colours of the 1,243-mile (2,000km) long reef and spectacular marine life that abounds around it.

  6. The Mexican island of Cozumel is world-renowned and offers 19 reefs as well as a wonderful variety of caves, caverns and tunnels to explore.

  7. The exotic and very remote island of Palau features some of the world’s most exquisite diving. Boasting a 90 mile (145km) coral lagoon, 700 species of corals and 1500 species of fish, it’s no wonder this scuba diving paradise attracts over 50,000 divers annually.

  8. Belize features the world’s second longest barrier reef and the largest in the western hemisphere, attracting a plethora of divers each year. The Blue Hole, Belize’s best-known dive site, is as mysterious as it is beautiful and a must for lovers of all things aquatic.

  9. For an endless variety of diving, head to Indonesia to experience the thrill of this underwater paradise dotted with volcanoes. Key spots include Gili Islands, Bali and Nusa Penida.

  10. Papua New Guinea has it all; reefs, lagoons, atolls, wrecks and an immense variety of marine life. This remote little treasure trove is a paradise for divers and offers enough variety for beginners to enjoy.

What are your favourite dive spots? Talk about them on the Word Travels Forum!

Research your trip by choosing the right destination. Read our detailed diving overviews to world destinations: